When God Seems Distant–Brief Thoughts

  • Recently someone told me that God seemed distant and asked me why that happens.   When God Seems Distant. . .
    • First, many saints of God have gone through what you are going through; see for example Job 23:1-4. Spurgeon struggled with depression. You are not alone in this.
    • Second, what is apparent (what seems to be) is not always reality. God is indeed “an ever present help” in times of trouble to trusting saints, Psalm 46. Learn to rely on Gods’ truth, not your feelings. You may not feel God’s presence. That does not mean he is not there. God wants you to trust in his Words, not your feelings. Make decisions based upon God’s truths, not your feelings, Gen 4:4-7. Lean to live your life based upon God’s principles, not your feelings. You can and must go against your feelings frequently. When “my feelings or passions” are in the driver’s seat of my life, the car (my life) usually goes the wrong direction. When God’s principles are in the driver’s seat, the car always goes the right direction. Let your poor feelings drive you to disciplined truth searches in his Word. If you don’t read your Bible daily and pray, you need to start to do this now in spite of how you feel. When you do right (know and depend upon his words) you will eventually feel right. Learn that troubles and hardships are signs of his loving disciplinary embrace, Hebrews 12:7.
    • Third, sometimes God seems distant not because he has drifted away, but because you/I have drifted away. He wants us to “believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him,” Hebrews 11:6. Sometimes God seems distant because there is something I know I should do, but haven’t done it.  Make an effort to be reconciled to someone.   Seek someone’s forgiveness.    Confess/forsake known sin. Those of us who live in western culture (you and me) have been poorly conditioned by our society. We think it is terrible if we don’t have what we want or if we aren’t supremely happy. Truthfully, the scriptures would tell us that happiness is not goal to be pursued; it is the result of pursuing a goal.  Satisfaction is the result of fidelity to a purpose. For the believer, “it is that the chief end of man is to know God and enjoy him forever.” Remember God is more concerned with your holiness than your happiness. Jesus Christ died on the cross to deliver you from the power of sin, so that 2 Cor 5:15 might be fulfilled in your life. All of that is not to say that God wants us sad or depressed. Quite the contrary, a victorious life is one that brings pleasure and joy to the genuinely born-again believer. Psalm 16:2; Psalm 63: 2-4.

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